The 2nd Thursday Series continues Dec. 10 with a pre-recorded performance of Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe, Op. 48, with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre founder Daniel Kleinknecht on the piano and Iowa-native Chris Carr singing tenor.
Daniel and Chris performed and recorded the song cycle in October 2020 at the lovely and historic Cedarmere estate on Long Island. Cedarmere was the home of William Cullen Bryant, a 19th Century writer, poet, and newspaperman who was alive when Schumann wrote Dichterliebe.
I like to think that Bryant would have had the opportunity to hear the Dichterliebe during his lifetime, says Daniel. I'm sure the songs were at least in the air someplace in New York during his lifetime. Also, having visited the estate myself several years ago and having admired the gardens and architecture of the house, I thought it would be a fantastic way to share a bit of the beauty of Long Island with our Iowa audience.
Schumann based Dichterliebe on the poems of Heinrich Heine, who the composer met when he was 18 and still a law student. Schumann admired Heine's poetry for its wit and romantic irony. He composed Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love) in 1840 during his “year of song,” the same year he married Clara Wieck. The song cycle is known for its story of love and betrayal and the role of the piano, which emphasizes the vocal lyrics and comments upon them. The piano also introduces new moods.
I like Schumann's music, says Daniel. I played it when I was in high school, and coming back to it now makes me happy. It's the first time that either Chris or I had performed the 16 songs of Dichterliebe, and we enjoyed the opportunity to perform them in the home of a man who surely would have appreciated them.
Join us at 7 p.m., Dec. 10. You can watch on the Opera's YouTube channel, or after Dec. 10, on our website.